Following on from yesterday’s marathon post, here’s the rest. Despite the length the total titles listed still only represent about 10% of what’s on offer. Usual rules apply – all books I include are those I’ve either read and recommend, books that are patiently waiting to be read, or they’re ones I’d happily to add to my reading list. Therefore, it’s a list that’s skewed towards what currently appeals to me so feel free to look at the complete list on Amazon here.
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ISN’T IT ABOUT TIME THAT YOU MADE A DATE TO VISIT TALL OAKS?
The disappearance of a young child throws the tight-knit community into crisis.
Jess Monroe, the boy’s distraught mother, is simultaneously leading the search and battling her own grief and self-destructive behaviour. Her neighbours watch on, their sympathy masking a string of dark secrets.
This is a small town where nothing is as it seems, and everyone has something to hide. And as the investigation draws towards a climax, prepare for a devastating final twist . . .
Return to the Little French Guesthouse
Blue skies, new love, and a glass of Bordeaux . . . what could possibly go wrong?
When Emmy Jamieson leaves her life behind and moves to La Cour des Roses, a gorgeous guesthouse amidst vineyards in France, everything is resting on her success as the new guesthouse manager.
Looming in the calendar is the biggest booking ever, when the entire eccentric, demanding Thomson family will descend for a golden wedding anniversary. With airbeds on the floor and caravans in the garden, La Cour des Roses will be bursting at the seams.
Emmy knows she’s up to the challenge, especially with the support of the gorgeous Alain, the half-French, half-English, caramel-eyed accountant. But she hadn’t counted on a naked, sleepwalking travel blogger, or the return of owner Rupert’s venomous ex-wife Gloria.
Gloria has a few things to say about Emmy’s new role, Rupert’s finances, and the unsuspecting Alain, which send everybody reeling. Just when Emmy can see a future for herself of endless sunshine, true love and laughter, are her dreams about to be ripped at the seams?
The Lost Lights of St Kilda by Elisabeth Gifford
1927: When Fred Lawson takes a summer job on St Kilda, little does he realise that he has joined the last community to ever live on that beautiful, isolated island. Only three years later, St Kilda will be evacuated, the islanders near dead from starvation. But for Fred, memories of that summer – and the island woman, Chrissie, with whom he falls in love – will never leave him.
1940: Fred has been captured behind enemy lines in France and finds himself in a prisoner-of-war camp. Beaten and exhausted, his thoughts return to the island of his youth and the woman he loved and lost. When Fred makes his daring escape, prompting a desperate journey across occupied territory, he is sustained by one thought only: finding his way back to Chrissie.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
In the highlands of Malaya, a woman sets out to build a memorial to her sister, killed at the hands of the Japanese during the brutal Occupation of their country. Yun Ling’s quest leads her to The Garden of Evening Mists, and to Aritomo, a man of extraordinary skill and reputation, once the gardener of the Emperor of Japan. When she accepts his offer to become his apprentice, she begins a journey into her past, inextricably linked with the secrets of her troubled country’s history.
‘As the train pressed on, I realised that my life was in the process of taking a different direction, plotted according to a new constellation. Because, although I didn’t know it yet, I was about to meet Ben and nothing would ever be the same again.’
Martin Gilmour is an outsider. When he wins a scholarship to Burtonbury School, he doesn’t wear the right clothes or speak with the right kind of accent. But then he meets the dazzling, popular and wealthy Ben Fitzmaurice, and gains admission to an exclusive world. Soon Martin is enjoying tennis parties and Easter egg hunts at the Fitzmaurice family’s estate, as Ben becomes the brother he never had.
But Martin has a secret. He knows something about Ben, something he will never tell. It is a secret that will bind the two of them together for the best part of 25 years.
At Ben’s 40th birthday party, the great and the good of British society are gathering to celebrate in a haze of champagne, drugs and glamour. Amid the hundreds of guests – the politicians, the celebrities, the old-money and newly rich – Martin once again feels that disturbing pang of not-quite belonging. His wife, Lucy, has her reservations too. There is disquiet in the air. But Ben wouldn’t do anything to damage their friendship.
Death of a Mermaid by Lesley Thomson
When Freddy Power was eighteen, her father threw her out. Her sin had been to fall in love with a woman. Freddy waited for two decades to be invited back into the family. The summons never came.
But now, in the wake of her parents’ death, Freddy feels the call of home like a siren’s song. The ferry from France emerging out of the mist. Fisherman unloading trawlers down at the harbour. Her childhood friends, Mags and Toni, walking on the cliffs at sunset.
Yet when she arrives in Newhaven, she finds that time has not stood still. After twenty-two years of silence, her brothers exclude her, and Mags and Toni feel like strangers. But then Mags goes missing, and old secrets – and old passions – are reignited. Freddy is determined to lead the hunt for the woman who was her first love. Even if it means confronting the past, and facing up to the truth about her family.
Like a House on Fire by Caroline Hulse
Things Stella and George have had blazing rows about:
– Misquoting Jurassic Park
– Leaving a Coke can on the side of the bath
– Fitting car seats for their hypothetical kids
In other news, they’re getting divorced.
But first, Stella’s mum is throwing a murder mystery party and – with her dad losing his job, her mum’s recent diagnosis, and some very odd behaviour from her sister – now is not the time to tell everyone.
All Stella and George have to do is make it through the day without their break-up being discovered – though it will soon turn out that having secrets runs in the family…
Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2020
LONGLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2020
A BBC RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB PICK
THE DEBUT NOVEL FROM THE COSTA SHORT STORY AWARD WINNER
On an ordinary Saturday morning in 1996, the residents of Nightingale Point wake up to their normal lives and worries.
Mary has a secret life that no one knows about, not even Malachi and Tristan, the brothers she vowed to look after.
Malachi had to grow up too quickly. Between looking after Tristan and nursing a broken heart, he feels older than his twenty-one years.
Tristan wishes Malachi would stop pining for Pamela. No wonder he’s falling in with the wrong crowd, without Malachi to keep him straight.
Elvis is trying hard to remember to the instructions his care worker gave him, but sometimes he gets confused and forgets things.
Pamela wants to run back to Malachi but her overprotective father has locked her in and there’s no way out.
It’s a day like any other, until something extraordinary happens. When the sun sets, Nightingale Point is irrevocably changed and somehow, through the darkness, the residents must find a way back to lightness, and back to each other.
The Secrets of Sunshine by Phaedra Patrick
A lonely single father gets an unexpected second chance at love in the heart-warming new novel from the bestselling author of The Library of Lost and Found.
Only his daughter Poppy knows that behind his prickly exterior, Mitchell Fisher is deeply lonely. He may have sworn off romance, relishing his job cutting off the padlocks that couples fasten to his hometown’s famous ‘love story’ bridge… but underneath it all, he’s still grieving the loss of Poppy’s mum.
Then one hot summer’s day, everything changes when Mitchell bravely rescues a woman who falls from the bridge into the river. He’s surprised to feel an unexpected connection to her, but then she disappears. Desperate to find the mysterious woman, Mitchell teams up with her spirited sister Liza to see if she’s left any clues behind. There’s just one – a secret message on the padlock she left on love story bridge…
On Wilder Seas by Nikki Marmery
April 1579: When two ships meet off the Pacific coast of New Spain, an enslaved woman seizes the chance to escape.
But Maria has unwittingly joined Francis Drake’s circumnavigation voyage as he sets sail on a secret detour into the far north.
Sailing into the unknown on the Golden Hind, a lone woman among eighty men, Maria will be tested to the very limits of her endurance. It will take all her wits to survive – and courage to cut the ties that bind her to Drake to pursue her own journey.
How far will Maria go to be truly free?
Inspired by a true story, this is the tale of one woman’s uncharted voyage to freedom.
Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain
Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.
In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.
There’s just one problem.
Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.
The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.
Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession
Leonard and Hungry are two quiet friends who see the world differently. They use humour, board games and silence to steer their way through the maelstrom that is the 21st Century.It is the story of two friends trying to find their place in the world. It is about those uncelebrated people who have the ability to change the world, not by effort or force, but through their appreciation of all that is special and overlooked in life.
Chosen for BBC Radio 2 Book Club
It all started with one little lie …
Jane and Marnie have been inseparable since they were eleven years old. They have a lot in common. In their early twenties they both fell in love and married handsome young men.
But Jane never liked Marnie’s husband. He was always so loud and obnoxious, so much larger than life. Which is rather ironic now, of course.
Because if Jane had been honest – if she hadn’t lied – then perhaps her best friend’s husband might still be alive . . .
This is Jane’s opportunity to tell the truth, the question is:
Do you believe her?
The Summer We Ran Away by Jenny Oliver
It was meant to be the party of the summer…
In Cedar Road, everyone is preparing for Lexi’s ‘White Hot’ summer party. For one night, parking squabbles and petitions are put aside as neighbours sip Prosecco under the fairy lights and gather by the hot tub to marvel at Lexi’s effortlessly glamorous life with Hot Hamish.
For Julia, it’s a chance to coax husband Charlie out of his potting shed and into a shirt so they can have a welcome break from the hellish house renovation they’ve been wrestling with. And it’s a chance for Julia to pretend – just for a night – that her life is as perfect as Lexi’s.
But when, during the party, one of Julia’s WhatsApp messages falls into the wrong hands and reveals her most intimate thoughts, things reach boiling point…
And when all the neighbours know exactly what you’re thinking, there’s only one thing to do.
It’s going to be a summer Julia will never forget…
Fifteen-year-old Ana Canción never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she must say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by César, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.
As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, leaving César to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, dance with César at the Audubon Ballroom, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.
In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.
The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard
Every summer, the Cazalet brothers, Hugh, Edward and Rupert, return to the family home in the heart of the Sussex countryside with their wives and children. There, they are joined by their parents and unmarried sister Rachel to enjoy two blissful months of picnics and childish games. But despite the idyllic setting, nothing can be done to soothe the siblings’ heartache: Hugh is haunted by the ravages of war, Edward by his latest infidelity and Rupert by his inability to please his demanding wife. Meanwhile, Rachel risks losing her only chance at happiness because of her unflinching loyalty to the family.
Howard’s beautiful saga is the story of three generations of the Cazalet family. Their relatives, their children and their servants – and the fascinating triangle of their affairs.
The Light Years is the first novel in Elizabeth Jane Howard’s bestselling five-part series.
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…
Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
When murder strikes close to home, Dr Ruth Galloway is determined to find justice – without ending up in the firing line herself.
Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, spends a lot of time looking at death. But now death has found her, with the news that her long-time friend and ex-colleague Dan Golding has been killed in a house fire.
Ruth’s grief soon turns to suspicion of arson when she receives a desperate letter from Dan, sent the day before he died. He had made a ground-breaking discovery that he was sure would change archaeology forever – and was petrified of the consequences.
Ruth feels compelled to travel north to investigate further, alongside DCI Harry Nelson who is also drawn into the case. But where Ruth goes, so does her young daughter, Kate. This time, the risks are even higher.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia.
Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown.
Abused repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, Celie has two children taken away from her and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny.
And gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.
Beloved by generations of readers, The Color Purple broke the silence around domestic and sexual abuse, narrating the lives of women through their pain and struggle, companionship and growth, resilience and bravery. Deeply compassionate and beautifully imagined, Alice Walker’s epic carries readers on a spirit-affirming journey towards redemption and love.
The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan
Zoe is a single mother, sinking beneath the waves trying to cope by herself in London. Hari, her gorgeous little boy is perfect in every way – except for the fact that he just doesn’t speak, at all. When her landlord raises the rent on her flat, Zoe doesn’t know where to turn.
Then Hari’s aunt suggests Zoe could move to Scotland to help run a bookshop. Going from the lonely city to a small village in the Highlands could be the change Zoe and Hari desperately need.
Faced with an unwelcoming boss, a moody, distant bookseller named Ramsay Urquart, and a band of unruly children, Zoe wonders if she’s made the right decision. But Hari has found his very first real friend, and no one could resist the beauty of the loch glinting in the summer sun. If only Ramsay would just be a little more approachable…
Dreams start here . . .
The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
Six strangers with one universal thing in common: their lives aren’t always what they make them out to be.
What would happen if they told the truth instead?
Julian Jessop is tired of hiding the deep loneliness he feels. So he begins The Authenticity Project – a small green notebook containing the truth about his life.
Leaving the notebook on a table in his friendly neighbourhood café, Julian never expects Monica, the owner, to track him down after finding it. Or that she’ll be inspired to write down her own story.
Little do they realize that such small acts of honesty hold the power to impact all those who discover the notebook and change their lives completely.
SHE’S GOT NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE.
A year ago, in desperation, Felicity Lloyd signed up for a lengthy research trip to the remote island of South Georgia. It was her only way to escape.
AND NOW HE’S COMING FOR HER.
Freddie Lloyd has served time for murder. Out at last, he’s on her trail. And this time, he won’t stop until he finds her.
BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW FAR YOU RUN, SOME SECRETS WILL ALWAYS CATCH UP WITH YOU…
Finn and Kaz are about to meet for the first time…
Ten-year-old Finn, a quirky, sensitive boy who talks a lot and only eats at cafes with a 5-star hygiene rating, is having a tough time at school and home.
Outspoken Kaz, 59, who has an acerbic sense of humour and a heart of gold, is working at the café when Finn and his mum come in.
They don’t know it yet, but the second time they meet will be a moment which changes both of their lives forever . . .
Half a World Away by Mike Gayle
Strangers living worlds apart.
Strangers with nothing in common.
But it wasn’t always that way…
Kerry Hayes is single mum, living on a tough south London estate. She provides for her son by cleaning houses she could never afford. Taken into care as a child, Kerry cannot forget her past.
Noah Martineau is a successful barrister with a beautiful wife, daughter and home in fashionable Primrose Hill. Adopted as a young child, Noah never looks back.
When Kerry contacts Noah, the sibling she lost on the day they were torn apart as children, she sets in motion a chain of events that will change both of their lives forever.
By turns funny and moving, Half a World Away is a story that will stay with you long after you read its final page.
The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met …
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…
Every year the Levin children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic island home, but this year it’s not to be. Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby is caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests with her friend Mary Jo Kopechne. And Tiger, the only son, has just been deployed to Vietnam.
Thirteen-year-old Jessie, the youngest of them all, suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother who is hiding secrets of her own . . .
The Murder Game by Rachel Abbott
We were all there that day. Now one of us is dead …
The first time Jemma and Matt were invited to Polskirrin – Lucas Jarrett’s imposing ocean-view home – it was for an intimate wedding that ended in tragedy. Jemma will never forget the sight of the girl’s body floating towards the rocky shore.
Now, exactly one year later, Lucas has invited his guests back for a macabre anniversary.
But what Lucas has in store for them is nothing like a candlelight vigil. Someone who was there that night remembers more than they’ll admit to, and Lucas has devised a game to make them tell the truth.
Jemma believes she and Matt know nothing about what happened… but what if she’s wrong? Before you play a deadly game, make sure you can pay the price…
A Wedding at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry
Escape to Everdene Sands, where the sun is shining – but is the tide about to turn?
Robyn and Jake are planning their dream wedding at the family beach hut in Devon. A picnic by the turquoise waves, endless sparkling rosé and dancing barefoot on the golden sand . . .
But Robyn is more unsettled than excited. She can’t stop thinking about the box she was given on her eighteenth birthday, and the secrets it contains. Will opening it reveal the truth about her history – and break the hearts of the people she loves most?
As the big day arrives, can everyone let go of the past and step into a bright new future?
The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman
A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for a group of strangers whose paths cross in a London café – their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage. But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?
When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers.
As Dee looks back over her time in the Master’s Lodging – an eerie and ancient house – a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.
But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for concern? And most of all, why is Felicity silent?
Roaming Oxford’s secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of family – and what it is to be denied one.
The Getaway Girls by Dee MacDonald
One morning, Connie McColl wakes up and decides to swap her ordinary life, for an extraordinary adventure…
Connie McColl is finally free to make her own decisions for the first time in decades. And when she meets glamorous Gill and downtrodden Maggie, at a rather dull flower arranging class, it seems that she’s not the only one dreaming of adventure. The three very different women all agree it’s about time they had a holiday to remember.
So they make a pact for this summer to be their best yet – and drive off into the sunset together…
As they meander their way along the beautiful beaches of France and onto the glorious delights of Italy in their luxury campervan, the new friends have plenty of fun and frolics in the sunshine. But the vacation isn’t quite what they expected…
Gill will do anything to have one last holiday romance, Connie has a surprise inheritance awaiting her in Italy, and Maggie has a secret that is going to catch up with them all…
In the end, all three women discover that the journey they thought would be their last really is just the beginning…
So that’s the lot. What’s the verdict – more to add to your tbr or better luck next month?
Either way – Happy Reading !!
The Getaway Girls is such a fun read, highly recommend it! xx
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One I actually have bought xx
Oh my goodness, so much to tempt me! I think I’m grateful …! Colour Purple is one of the best books ever x
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Sorry Janet, though on the bright side – great bargains. I think it’s going to be a costly month for me too if it’s any consolation as there’s quite a few newer titles this month. xx
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I’ve restricted myself to four downloads this time! Thanks for posting about them xx
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That’s very restrained – I’ll have to try harder next month lol xx
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Wonderful titles here Jill – many of which I have already read and thoroughly enjoyed. You have many hours of enjoyment ahead of you. ♥
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Good to know, but just to clarify I won’t be buying them all. I do this post largely for my FB group as a guide to what I’d pick.
Great list and I see a lot of print time as well as book club choices for The Henna Artist. No doubt will be top of many lists for 2020.
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It’s one I’ve had my eye on for a while so pleased to see it in the sale.